Varsity headline Sunday's show benefiting Connections for Abused Women and Their Children at the Empty Bottle. Credit: Courtesy the artist

Since 1976, Chicago nonprofit Connections for Abused Women and Their Children (CAWC) has provided a wide range of assistance for victims of domestic abuse, including a 24-hour hotline, professional counseling, and emergency shelter. According to CAWC, hundreds of women and children are turned away from the organization’s Greenhouse Shelter each month due to a shortage of facilities. On Sunday, May 22, the Chicago chapter of Women in Music hosts a benefit for CAWC at the Empty Bottle that includes a raffle and performances from incorrigibly tuneful garage rockers Varsity, winsome power-pop band Bloom, shoe­gazy grunge outfit Colossal Woman, and singer-­songwriter Quinn Tsan.

We’ve all known since late last year that Uptown institution Shake Rattle & Read was about to close, and more recently the shop has announced that the sad milestone will arrive this month—to be more precise, its final day of business is Saturday, May 21. Gossip Wolf got the news straight from owner Ric Addy last week, while paying a visit and buying some vintage copies of Punk Planet and Flip Side for cheap. At press time, new vinyl was 50 percent off and everything else was a dollar—and it’s always free to drop in and say good-bye.

Gossip Wolf is fairly literary for a beast. And as a bonus, newsprint and old books are great for keeping a Dumpster crash pad warm! Anyway, at the Hideout on Saturday, May 21, two of Gossip Wolf’s music-­journalist pals—MTV News honcho Jessica Hopper and Memphis Commercial Appeal critic Bob Mehr, both of whom used to write for the Reader. They’ll discuss Mehr’s ripping new Replacements bio, Trouble Boys. Sounds like a hootenanny! In his Reader review, Alfred Soto says Mehr “imposes order” on the Replacements’ “un­relenting barrage of grotesque behavior . . . leavened by several of the most beautiful, inchoate records of the 80s.” The free event will include an interview and Q&A session.  v

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